U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason ruled late Friday that Trump didn’t have authority to resume selling drilling rights in more than 125 million acres (50.6 million hectares) of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans that former President Barack Obama had sought to protect.
The ruling is a defeat for the president as well as for oil companies eager to keep new territory open for exploration. It complicates the Trump administration’s plan to auction drilling rights in Arctic waters that are believed to hold more than 30 Bboe. It also reimposes three executive orders from Obama that had removed vast stretches of the Arctic and Atlantic from future oil and gas leasing.
Existing oil leases in the Beaufort Sea aren’t affected by Friday’s ruling or by Obama’s earlier withdrawals, which targeted the sale of new drilling rights….
An excerpt from World Oil